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Mega Group Wraps National Convention

LOUISVILLE, KY. – Mega Group USA, the buying group for independent majap, bedding, furniture and CE dealers, concluded “a very successful” national fall convention here earlier this month, president Rick Bellows reported.

The show, held Sept. 6-9 at the Marriott Downtown and Louisville Convention Center, drew record attendance and yielded record orders, Bellows said.

Highlights included a tour of GE Appliance’s nearby dishwasher, refrigeration and laundry plants by 150 members, and the launch of new distribution partnerships with D&H Distributing and the Powerhouse Alliance. Mega said the collaborations will bring new brands, categories and services to the group’s electronics division.

According to CE division manager Jim Sendrak, D&H’s next-day delivery on most CE, IT, gaming and housewares orders “enables members to make 45,000 items available to their customers, and do it as quickly as Amazon.” In addition, its $3 billion annual sales volume and automated order processing allows D&H to offer Mega members substantially lower pricing across the board, he said.

PowerHouse Alliance, a national network of independent CE distributors, share about 25 core brands that will be made available to Mega dealers. The benefits, Sendrak said, include “national distribution with a local touch,” as “reps on the street … know the members’ markets and the challenges they face. They know how to compete.”

He added that PowerHouse distributors all carry the high-margin pro, custom, home automation and surveillance categories that Mega needs to “bring to our members’ doorsteps and expand their opportunities to make more money.”

The convention also featured keynote addresses by author and sales consultant Don Hutson on “The High Performance Selling Edge,” and economist Dr. Stephen Happel, who’s two-year financial forecast received a standing ovation.

Member dealers also participated in product trainings, industry reviews and best practices discussions, Bellows noted.

In addition, Mega introduced at the convention a redesigned merchandising tool called RetailDeck that helps dealers efficiently merchandise, price, tag and sell their sales floors. Among its features, the web-based program:

• consolidates pricing guides into one place, including side-by-side lists of MSRP, MAP, Mega costs, and vendor and group rebates, as well as competitors’ pricing;

• produces professional price tags in seconds without manual data entry, and keeps tags up to date by tracking tagged products and alerting retailers whenever changes in the marketplace may require a tag update;

• automatically generates QR codes;

• and allows sales staff to access product images, specifications, accessories, and pricing and availability via any Internet-enabled mobile device to help improve the customer’s in-store experience.